Thursday, 17 November 2011


Chris mentioned the other day that there’s lots of red in the countryside at the moment. Unlike North America, we don’t get the intense riots of reds in the autumn leaves, but if we look close they are there. Hidden on a pile of fallen leaves I can see so many shades of colour ranging from bright yellows through browns to deep, rich red. But it’s the berries that are really red and it’s been a very good year. Hedgerows are laden with millions of hawthorn berries, rose hips are everywhere and in churchyards, yews have produced a good crop. If we get another hard winter like the last two, there’ll be plenty of food for the redwings, which have already arrived in Chris's garden.

This unseasonably mild November has meant that red admirals are still on the wing. Two rest in full sun on what’s left of a poor blackberry crop, the intense red on their wings a blaze of colour, contrasting with white and jet black.

Paler, but no less beautiful, the breast of a robin makes me looks closer. I see more orange than red. Great-spotted woodpeckers are at the garden feeders every day now and then there are the goldfinches with their amazing red faces. On the beach, Redshank’s legs stand out in the sun, reflecting beautifully in the still water of a pool, whilst the blood red of Oystercatchers bills couldn’t be more intense.

I could search and find more, but Chris was quite right.

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